Join la famiglia Paolinese, your hosts, local artisans, food lovers and truffle experts, on this unique hands-on cooking and truffle adventure in Le Marche. The family are locals in this beautiful region, along with their grandparents and working together on their farm in close contact with nature, and still today is involved in protecting and promoting this area, its products and gastronomic traditions. The Region of Le Marche is truly one of Italy’s last remaining secrets, an area whose rich cultural and artistic heritage deserves much more attention than it gets, making it the perfect destination for the discerning visitor. Here, as you will join the family and learn about the daily traditions that continue, along with the tempo of the land and the seasons. This family cultivates, with love and respect for tradition, their desire to preserve ancient crafts and gastronomic traditions. The Paolinese family truly makes this hands-on cooking class and truffle experience in Le Marche unique! You will go away with memories, great food experiences and new recipes to prepare at home in your own kitchen. They welcome you into their family, traditions and kitchen with open arms!
And what better time to take a trip than truffle season? Not many people know that Le Marche is one of Italy’s principal truffle regions, but the truth is it’s here that you’ll find many of the valuable tuber magnatum pico – the prized white truffle, and tuber melanosporum – the delicious black truffle, that grace tables all over Italy. Paolinese will take you truffle hunting with a local expert where you’ll see how his clever trained dog sniffs out these precious tubers then waits for his master to unearth them. Then it’s straight to the kitchen to transform your finds into a delicious lunch, including handmade pasta served with earthy shavings of truffle and a hearty meat dish. And while you work and eat, you’ll be treated to a short wine tasting session that will explain a little about local wines. History, culture, gastronomy – Le Marche offers this and so much more. Our Truffles and Traditions program makes the perfect add-on trip for those already visiting Tuscany, Umbria or Lazio. Or, a delicious stand-alone for foodies who love the pervasive scent and flavor of Italy’s irresistible white and black truffles.
Your cooking class takes place in a traditional country kitchen where you’ll work alongside the chef to create a series of delicious Le Marche specialties. During class you’ll find out more about how locals cook with both black and white truffles and learn how to make the best of these precious tubers. Get ready to knead and roll as you create a batch of handmade pasta, which will then be served with pungent shavings of truffle. Cook up a fabulous meat dish that will perfectly compliment the wines you’ll sample during your wine tasting and sit back and enjoy the scents and flavors of traditional Le Marche cuisine.
The Le Marche region is a culturally rich area, divided into four provinces by four river valleys, in a remote part of Italy as yet undiscovered by the crowds, ensuring that the land and villages remain quiet and untouched. Its strategic location makes it a perfect spot for reaching all the most important destinations of central Italy including Florence, Siena, , Assisi, Perugia, Urbino, Gubbio, and Ravenna.
The Le Marche region lies on the eastern side of central Italy, between the Adriatic Sea and the majestic Apennine Mountains, and has enough attractions to keep visitors busy for years. Admire the masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture, hike across uncharted mountains, or hunt for the best catch of the day in its Mediterranean fishing port. It is still possible to experience a taste of old-world cuisine and culture in Le Marche, an area still unsullied by mass tourism, and very intriguing to foreigners. The Marchigiani, the people of the Le Marche region, are hard working, warm and friendly. Known for producing quality merchandise in textiles and leathers, they have also developed special niches in artisan industries such as high quality handmade paper at Fabriano and musical instruments at Castelfidardo. Olive trees, fresh vegetables and vineyards are plentiful throughout the region also. Many seaside resorts dot the long stretch of Adriatic coast, making it a relaxing destination for summer vacationers.
Surrounded by mountains and natural parks, the town of Ascoli Piceno has been inhabited since pre-Roman times. Legend has it that a woodpecker led prehistoric settlers to the site, thus bringing about the town’s foundation. Ascoli Piceno’s historic center is rich in churches, palazzi and other important monuments: in particular, the town’s central Renaissance square, Piazza del Popolo, is considered one of the most beautiful in Italy. This piazza, which acted as the forum in Roman times, is dominated by the Palazzo dei Capitani del Popolo, which was burned to the ground during a local feud in 1535 and completely rebuilt ten years later. You can also visit Le Marche’s second largest art gallery inside the 17th-century Palazzo Comunale situated in Piazza Arringo, or Ascoli’s cathedral in the same square.
Your residence during this program is a beautifully restructured estate not far from Ascoli Piceno. The estate is located in the heart of Le Marche’s truffle area, nestled in rolling hillsides, offering guests total privacy yet just 30 minutes away from both the sea and the National Sibillini Park. The estate was renovated with original materials in full accordance with typical local ancient techniques: wooden girders and shutters, stone pavements and fireplaces remind you of the warm atmosphere of the past, with decor combining elegant ancient touches and folksy country traditions. All rooms and suites have traditional stone floors, exposed beams and are tastefully decorated, and have a private bathroom. There is also a swimming pool and solarium for guests’ use, as well as a Jacuzzi, and a small restaurant that serves delicious local specialties.
Itinerary: 4 Days, 3 Nights
Day One: Arrival & Welcome Dinner
- Transfer from local bus station (Porto San Giorgio) to the estate.
- Arrival & Check-in.
- Relax and unwind in the grounds with a welcome aperitivo.
- Chef’s Welcome Dinner at the estate, local wine included.
Day Two: Visit Montottone: La Strada dell’Artigiano
- Breakfast is served.
- Morning – guided excursion to the charming village of Montottone where you’ll visit one of the area’s many gifted craftsmen – a traditional potter who makes all his goods by hand.
- Enjoy lunch in local trattoria, local wine included
- Return to the estate in the afternoon.
- Head to the kitchen for Cooking Class 1. Lunch follows with the foods prepared in class. Everyone enjoys the foods that were prepared in class together at the table – all washed down with some excellent local wine.
- Dinner follows on dishes made during class – all washed down with some excellent local wine.
Day Three: Truffle Hunting & Cooking Class 2
- Breakfast is served
- Morning – set out on a unique hike through nearby wood to participate in a Truffle Hunt. Watch the hunter’s clever dogs sniff out these precious tubers and wait excitedly for their masters to unearth them.
- Then, head to the kitchen for your hands-on Cooking Class 2 where you’ll transform your freshly found truffles into truly delicious local specialties. Learn how to make handmade pasta Marchigiana-style and enjoy with precious shavings of truffle, then prepare a hearty meat course. Lunch follows on dishes made during class – all washed down with some excellent local wine. You will also be treated to a wine tasting featuring wine from local winery, Fiorano.
- Return to the estate after lunch.
- Dinner on your own. Suggestions provided or reserve dinner at the estate’s restaurant.
Day Four: Check-out & Arrivederci!
- Breakfast is served.
- Check-out and Arrivederci! Transfer to local bus station (Porto San Giorgio).
- 4 days, 3 nights accommodations, based on double occupancy. Click to View!
- Daily Breakfast.
- Welcome aperitivo and dinner, local wine included.
- Truffle Hunt with local expert and his dog.
- 2 hands-on cooking class, featuring local truffles. Lunch follows on the foods made during class, wine tasting included.
- Guided excursion to village of Montottone, including visit to local potter’s workshop.
- Lunch in trattoria in Montottone, local wine included.
- Arrival & departure transfers from Porto San Giorgio bus station.
$1,395 per person, based on double occupancy. All taxes and Italian VAT included.
Please call for single supplement pricing.